What do we at Matabooks have in common with mairisch Verlag, Voland & Quist or kunstanstifter Verlag?
Exactly, all these great companies are independent publishers!
Independent publishers, also called independent or Indie publishers, are publishers that are not part of a corporate group – they do not belong to large publishing houses such as Bertelsmann or Holtzbrinck. Often these small publishers have a certain Niche program with titles that the big ones don’t dare approach.
And today, for Indiebookday on 20 March 2021, we celebrate these wonderful small publishers. On this day, Independent publishers should be specifically put in the spotlight and given the chance to stand out from the mass of publishing houses.
Normally, on this day, there is a call to buy a book in your trusted bookstore and many different events on the topic of “independent publishers” take place. In 2020, however, the pandemic threw a spanner in the works of this concept, so that Indiebookday could only take place digitally. And this year it is once again a digital event. The fact that fairs and readings could not and cannot take place either means that independent publishers lack the opportunity to bring their works directly to the people and make contacts. But the small publishers have not let this get them down and have nevertheless diligently published works. However, it is often not enough to simply continue publishing books.
A constant challenge
Even though many books transport us to fantastic worlds, the book business is anything but fairytale-like.
In contrast to larger publishing houses, independent, owner-managed publishing houses often work with little budget, and limited staff and are therefore dependent on much sought-after funding. In return, however, projects are realized in these publishing houses that would otherwise never have seen the light of day and had the chance to inspire people.
As a start-up publishing house, matabooks also depends on the support of all you lovely people out there. Without you, we would not be able to implement our idea of more sustainability, climate, nature and animal protection in publishing. That’s why we are happy about every Notebook, every Calendar and every Book that finds a new home. But the truth is this: Running an independent publishing house is more ideal than big money. Very often everything is taken care of internally – editing texts, design, distribution, marketing, events and sometimes even production.
Among all the new releases every year, small publishers find it difficult to get their title’s widespread attention. They often take risks with their programs. At the same time, however, they discover new things, give the unknown a chance and thus contribute to biodiversity – that is, to literary diversity in the publishing industry. Independently published works tell hugely important stories and are often pioneering in representation and new methods of storytelling. They stand out and attract a readership that does not want to read the same thing in every book.
How can you participate in #indiebookday and support small publishers?
Like last year, Indiebookday 2021 will again take place mainly online.
And this is how it works: Readers order a book from an independent publisher – either directly from the publisher or in a bookshop they trust – take a photo of themselves with the book or just the book and share it on a social network with the hashtag #indiebookday. Furthermore, you can support the small publishers by additionally linking to them, talking about them, recommending them and thus giving them more attention and reach.
In this blog post, we have already gone into detail about our novels by young authors.
In the meantime, the influence of Indiebookday extends beyond Germany’s borders. Initiated in 2013 by the Hamburg publishing house Mairisch Publisher and its publisher Daniel Beskos, Canada, Italy, Poland, Brazil and the Netherlands have also adopted Indiebookday and hold events and campaigns on this day. From the very beginning, the idea has had enthusiastic supporters; many booksellers, in particular, enjoy it, e.g. transforming their shop windows or coming up with reading festivals.
Discover new publishers, genres, authors and stories
So many dreams of one’s own published work fizzle out in the face of the flood of new publications that come onto the book market every year in Germany alone. As a newcomer, it’s not easy in the publishing industry. Getting a contract with a big publishing house is either pure luck or the story is suitable for a broad target group and promises high sales. Independent publishers offer Niche authors a platform and break up the broad mass of the publishing world with more diverse stories.
So if you’d like to take part in this year’s #indiebookday and support us at Matabooks, pop into our shop and give one of our sustainable books made from Grass paper a chance.
Enjoy reading and discovering!